October 20, 2011 • By Ed Wrather
Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’” – Luke 14:15-20 NKJV.
Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:57-62 NKJV.
A survey by CareerBuilder.com of employers and workers revealed some of the unusual (insert “LAMO” here) excuses employees have given for missing work. LAMO is not in most dictionaries, but it is in the Urban Dictionary which has several definitions. Here are a couple: “Someone possessing the quality of lameness,” and “A situation, comment or person that is almost too stupid or odd for words.” Here are some of those LAMO work missing excuses:
“Bats got in my hair.”
“A deer bit me during hunting season.”
“I fell out of bed and broke my nose.”
“I hurt my back chasing a beaver.”
“I ate too much at a party.”
“I have a headache after going to too many garage sales.”
“A refrigerator fell on me.”
“I caught a cold from my puppy.”
“I drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the ER.”
“My brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel.”
“My child stuck a mint up his nose and had to go to the ER.”
When Jesus invited people to follow Him, many had excuses for not doing so. In these days, people still have excuses for not following Jesus, and many of those excuses are just as LAMO as the “not showing up for work” excuses.
When does Jesus ask you to follow or obey Him? Jesus asks that you obey Him by receiving Him as your Savior. In Luke 14, we see the many excuses that some people have for not receiving Christ as their Savior. My favorite is the “I have a wife” excuse. After you know Jesus as your personal Savior, the obeying and the following of Him has not ended; that is just the beginning. When you hear the small, still voice of God speaking to you about witnessing to a friend, that is Jesus saying “Follow Me.” When the small, still voice of God speaks to you about giving financially to support the Kingdom of God, that is Jesus saying “Follow Me.” When you are asked in the church to teach a class, that is Jesus saying “Follow Me.” When you hear the small, still voice of God saying _________ (you can fill in the blank here), that is Jesus saying “Follow Me.”
We fight, we struggle, we resist, we make excuses to avoid doing what God wants for our lives. The strange thing is that after all of that resistance, and avoidance; when we finally do what God wants, we have such peace, such joy, and know that our lives have meaning. Why did we wait so long to do what we know God wanted us to do?
Can you hear Him? Jesus is saying to you, “Follow Me.” Will you follow? Or, do you have another LAMO excuse?